'London Calling' by The Clash: Ten interesting facts - Indie Vinyl Den

'London Calling' by The Clash: Ten interesting facts

  1. Double Album: "London Calling" is a double album, meaning it has two records with a total of 19 tracks. This was relatively unusual for punk bands, which typically kept their songs and albums short.

  2. Genre Blending: While The Clash is typically considered a punk band, "London Calling" features a wide range of musical styles, including reggae, rockabilly, ska, New Orleans R&B, pop, lounge jazz, and hard rock. This represented a departure from their earlier, more traditional punk sound.

  3. Iconic Cover: The album's cover features a picture of bassist Paul Simonon smashing his bass guitar on stage. The image, which was taken by photographer Pennie Smith at The Palladium in New York City in 1979, is one of the most iconic in rock history.

  4. Cultural Impact: "London Calling" was highly influential and is considered one of the greatest albums in rock history. In 2003, it was ranked #8 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

  5. Title Track: The album's title track, "London Calling," is a response to the fear and uncertainty of the late 1970s, with references to potential disasters such as nuclear error, oil shortages, and climate change.

  6. Inspiration: The title of the album and the name of the title track were inspired by the BBC World Service's station identification: "This is London calling," which was used during World War II.

  7. Not a Commercial Success Initially: Despite its current status as a classic, "London Calling" did not reach the top of the charts in the UK or the US upon its initial release. It peaked at number 9 on the UK Albums Chart and number 27 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart in the US.

  8. Critical Acclaim: Although it was not a commercial blockbuster at first, the album received almost unanimous praise from critics upon its release, with many lauding its ambitious scope and successful blending of different musical styles.

  9. Dedication: The album is dedicated to Guy Stevens, who produced the album. Stevens was instrumental in shaping the sound of "London Calling," pushing the band to take creative risks.

  10. Vinyl Misprint: The original vinyl release had the sides labelled in the order "One," "Four," "Two," "Three," a mistake that was made during production.

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